Professor Mary-Louise McLaws
Deputy President, Academic Board

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws


Professor Mary-Louise McLaws is Deputy President of the Academic Board. She has held this position since 2017 and represented the UNSW Medicine on the Academic Board since 2012. She represents the Academic Board on selection committees for Professorial Appointments and is a member of the University Professorial Promotions Committee.

Mary-Louise is Professor of Epidemiology, Healthcare Infection and Infectious Diseases Control in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine. She has been Director of the Research Degree Programs, the Graduate Health Services Management Hong Kong Programs and the Public Health Program. She is the Water-Health Leader for the UNSW Global Institute for Water since 2016.

Her research area is patient safety performing the first Australian study of healthcare associated infections (HAIs), developing Australia’s first automated surveillance system for HAI for public hospitals on behalf of the NSW Ministry of Health and trialling the first automated hand hygiene surveillance system. She collaborated with the Clinical Excellence Commission to implement state-wide infection prevention related programs including improving hand hygiene, reducing central line bloodstream infections in intensive care units, and the early detection and treatment of sepsis in emergency departments.

Mary-Louise’s international patient safety research in low healthcare settings has included Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and Vietnam. She reviewed the Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Hong Kong healthcare workers and the Beijing SARS outbreak, and provided advice to the Commonwealth on the Australia’s Pandemic Influenza Infection Control Guidelines. For more than a decade she has worked with the World Health Organization on committees and as their representative in China and Malaysia. She is an Editorial Board member for the American Journal of Infection Control and Journal of Hospital Infection.


+61 2 9385 2393


Room 202
Level 2 Chancellery Building
UNSW Sydney, Kensington 2052

Staff contacts

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Misha Pavelkova
Executive Assistant


+61 2 9385 2393